Day 1 of Toronto 2015 kicked off with 19 sports on the docket and Canada made it a golden day, winning eight medals.
The canoe/kayak team won Canada’s first medal of the Pan Am Games, with a gold in the women’s K-4 500m. Also finding the top of the podium on Day 1 were the synchronized swimming duet and team, as well as Tory Nyhaug in BMX. The other Canadians that made their way onto the podium on Day 1 were: Ecaterina Guica (judo silver), Roseline Filion (diving silver), Meaghan Benfeito (diving bronze) and Philippe Gagné (diving bronze).
Canoe/Kayak Sprint – Women’s K-4 500m
KC Fraser, Michelle Russell, Émilie Fournel, and Hannah Vaughan paddled their way to gold in the K-4 500m. The Canadian foursome took top spot with a time of 1:36.495 in the final, beating the second place Cuban boat by over a second. Argentina finished in third place with a time of 1:37.721.
Synchronized Swimming – Duet
Karine Thomas and Jacqueline Simoneau followed up their first place finish in the technical routine by finishing first in the free routine on Saturday to lock up the duet gold medal. The pair finished with a score of 90.0000 in the free routine to bring their competition total to 178.0881. The team from Mexico finished with a score of 172.5073.
Thomas, who finished fourth in the team event at London 2012, described the significance of today’s win: “To have this around our necks right now is an amazing feeling. We know that we are heading to Rio next summer so it’s very exciting.”
Synchronized Swimming – Team
After winning gold in the duet, Thomas and Simoneau joined the rest of Canada’s synchronized swimmers for the team event free routine. The defending gold medallists did not disappoint, winning the free routine with a score of 90.2000 to secure the gold medal.
Lisa Mikelberg described the significance of having the home crowd on their side: “It was amazing, an honour competing in front of our country. Such a great feeling; the crowd behind us…now we have a double gold. It doesn’t get better than that.”
Cycling – Men’s BMX
Tory Nyhaug caught fire on Friday, winning all five of his races on the day to capture men’s BMX gold. Nyhaug finished the final in a time of 36.208 seconds to finish ahead of second-place finisher Alfredo Campo Vintimilla from Ecuador and bronze medallist Nicholas Long from the USA.
After the final, Tory described the race that won him gold: “I knew if I got into the first turn clean I’d be fine. I was running the track great all day, but I had to really battle and shove my way in. It was amazing.”
Judo – Women’s -52kg
Diving – Women’s 10m Platform
Two of Canada’s “Fab IV” divers took home medals from the 10m platform event. Olympian Roseline Filion scored 377.60 to win the silver medal, while her synchronized diving partner and fellow Olympian Meaghan Benfeito scored 357.45 to take home the bronze.
Diving – Men’s 3m Springboard
Men’s Water Polo
Canada 19-9 Mexico
The men’s water polo team continued their winning ways with a 19-9 victory over Mexico on Saturday. Leading the team in scoring was Justin Boyd with five goals. They now advance to the semifinals on Monday.
Women’s and Men’s Rugby Sevens
The women’s rugby team went undefeated on the day, winning all three of their games. They shutout their opponents all day by a total of 151-0. The men won two of their games and lost the final one. They outscored their challengers by a total of 78-35. Both teams will hope to find themselves in the finals to play for the gold tomorrow evening.
A young Canadian squad got off to a great start in women’s soccer at the Pan American Games on Saturday night, posting a 5-2 win over Ecuador in their opening game of the tournament.
Canada beat the Dominican Republic 4-1 to start its men’s baseball title defence in Ajax, Ontario on Saturday. A three-run home run by Jordan Lennerton and six scoreless innings by starting pitcher Chris Leroux led the way for Canada.
For a complete list of Canadian results from Day 1, click here.